The University of Miami is making a crucial investment in Miami’s Health District, expanding current facilities as it looks towards building a 1.4 million square foot life sciences research park. The new research center, pictured above, is a crucial part of Miami’s continued economic growth and diversity. The facility will serve as a catalyst for the Bioscience community while creating a wide variety of well paying jobs. This is certainly the type of growth our city needs.

“Life science companies such as Schering-Plough, Boston Scientific, Beckman Coulter, Cordis, Noven Pharmaceuticals and others contribute to the biotech economy in the county, said Beacon Council President and CEO Frank Nero. About 17,000 people are employed by more than 1,400 life sciences companies in the county, which contributes about $2.3 billion in total annual revenue, according to the Beacon Council.”

Private investment will flock around the Miami research facilities creating a local hub for biological, pharmaceutical, and chemical research. Our community now needs to take the necessary steps to integrate our up and coming facilities with the surroundings; by providing adequate rail connections to the surrounding neighborhoods with the Miami streetcar, easy access to the FAU Scripps research facility in Palm Beach, and creating affordable and accessible housing. Braman can moan all he wants about spending taxpayer money on infrastructural upgrades, but without these crucial forms of transit, the Health district and much of Miami will never reach their full potential.

Um is also planning on restoring one of Miami’s oldest structures, Halissee Hall, to its former grandeur. Originally constructed in 1914 by John Sewell a Miami pioneer and former mayor, the house will be home to the School of Medicine’s Faculty Club and will host receptions, conferences and lectures.

“Sandwiched between Highland Park and the Golf Links is a massive stone building, the residence of John Sewell, shoe salesman and the third mayor of Miami. Started on July 20, 1913 it was situated on the highest elevation in the City of Miami. Sewell called his home Halissee Hall [locator], “Halissee” being the Seminole word for “New moon.” In his book, Miami Memoirs, Sewell writes that Halissee Hall was built with “boulder rock grubbed up on the hill” with which he built “the best home in Florida, not the most expensive, but the best home, with eighteen-inch walls of solid stone and cement, three stories high, with a half-acre of floor space.” The original entrance to Halissee Hall, two pillars, can be seen just south of the 836 Expressway near NW 10th Avenue.”

UM could learn from MIT, who over the past decades purchased the land immediately surrounding the campus and constructed offices building to lease back to private companies. Industry soon moved into the area to harvest the brainpower of the faculty and utilize the resources of the student body.

8 Responses to Miami’s Growing Health District

  1. Anonymous says:

    This is quite exciting, and while much of the U.S. economy is freaking out, such major investment is being made by UM.
    I like that this location is directly next to the hopefully upcoming streetcar line, and will make streetcar an even more important transportation alternative.
    In the article about this last week in Miami Today, the life science park should spur several spin off companies, creating new jobs all the time. Also, the increase connectivity with South American companies will have an impact on the regional economy. So good job Donna, way to make UM more relevant. My degree will be more valuable 😉


  2. Anonymous says:

    Great news for UM and the City of Miami!


  3. AI says:

    Everytime you mention the streetcar I am appalled. How it found its way into this article I don’t know, but I can start hearing the sound of flushing $250 million down the toilet.


  4. Gabriel J. Lopez-Bernal says:

    ai- Guess you’ve never seen a real streetcar in action…


  5. Anonymous says:

    More public transit, I say put in multiple lines, not just one. People are not seeing the big picture and what good public transit can do. The streetcar makes perfect sense for this area.


  6. willie says:

    AI has no clue, the streetcar makes perfect sense! We need to begin in our urban core and work our way west, south, and north. How can we expect people to get around our urban area if we don’t have an accessible downtown? The streetcar and Baylink are two of the most crucial projects for Miami-Dade County.

    I live in little Havana and would like to see a streetcar come through my neighborhood.


  7. Ryan Sharp says:

    Good points people…the streetcar is not meant to be a magic bullet that will solve Miami’s mobility crisis, but it’s a critical component of a larger SYSTEM. If you study most cities with large, highly successful mass transit systems, you’ll likely discover that they are multi-modal, especially with regards to rail transit (e.g. subway, streetcar, commuter rail, etc). Expanding Metrorail has its place, but so do streetcars and light rail.

    BTW, there are few places in all of Florida that make more sense to have streetcars than Little Havana. It’s almost criminal to think there is no high quality transit connection between LH and Downtown.


  8. Anonymous says:

    Dear Friends,

    Miami will have long ago sunk under the waves of the melted Greenland icesheet long before this bio-tech park and the street car ever become a reality.


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